Kitchen Forecast 2024: The Professional’s Guide to Today’s Culinary Spaces

Keep the technology quiet

To avoid eyesores on the kitchen island, designers need to consider the annoying but necessary detail: electrical outlets. “Nobody likes to see super bulky cover plates,” add Dvir and Rauchwerger. They recommend round Bocci outlets to minimize the visibility of plugs, especially on the short sides of the kitchen island. For Atkinson, installing charging drawers and hiding electrical outlets under the kitchen island countertop also works.

Studio Atkinson, which designed this personality-packed kitchen for a client, calls the kitchen island the most versatile piece of furniture in the home.

Studio Atkinson

Personalize, personalize, personalize

Kitchen island design doesn't always have to be about concealment. Although she, too, is an advocate of minimalist lines, Afshar supports individual tastes. “I love all the ways to personalize an island, from smooth-gliding hinges and automatic lighting to custom spice racks and silverware drawers,” she says. “We take a lot of time and care to make sure our clients' needs are met down to the smallest detail.” Austin-based designer and AD PRO Directory member Annie Downing likes to make the most of the interior of an island. Jazz it up with a pop of color, she recommends. “It makes for a fun surprise when you open the drawers.”

Simplify styling

Storage is one of the most important functions of a kitchen island, but designers recommend clearing the surface to make room for a little thoughtful styling. “Less is more in my eyes,” says Josh Greene, designer at AD100 in New York, when we ask him how best to jazz up an empty countertop. He recommends “a super cool, very large fruit bowl or maybe a footed bowl to get some height.” Downing agrees that a single large vessel for fruit or flowers “is pretty much all you need—it's a workspace, after all!”

The kitchen island's role as a functional centerpiece and design statement will continue to change as lifestyles and technologies evolve. But for designers who must strike the delicate balance between maximum functionality and maintaining aesthetics, thoughtful integration and personal touches are key to creating kitchen spaces that transcend trends. —Sophie Aliece Hollis

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Sean Anderson's design for this spacious kitchen in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, features sleek, modern appliances against a backdrop of rustic lighting and natural textures.

Haris Kenjar

5 design experts reveal their best kitchen products

Designers from the AD PRO directory share their favorite kitchen setups for entertaining, decorating and organizing

Kitchens are undeniably hotbeds of innovation—in cooking, technology, cutting-edge design, and functional furnishings. To help our clients keep up with the culinary times, we asked five experts from the AD PRO Directory (Sean Anderson, Fern Santini, Hema Persad of Sagrada Studio, Tiffany Howell of Night Palm, and DuVäl Reynolds of DuVäl Design) for their recommendations for the hottest room in the house—including recommendations for organizing, decorating, and entertaining guests. See the full selection here.

Stylish storage and organization

Elegant decor

Entertaining Essentials

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For a family's second home in London, designer Sophie Ashby of Studio Ashby chose bleached poplar for the kitchen cabinets and hidden appliances. Artwork by Gabrielle Raaff.

Kensington Liver

An expert guide to kitchen appliances (and how to decorate with them)

A high-tech kitchen often requires a dose of design reality. The professionals reveal which tools will last beyond the trend

There's no shortage of tempting kitchen appliances on the market—a soft serve ice cream maker, anyone? But while these culinary wonders may be turning heads at KBIS or CES, which ones actually impress in real life? AD PRO surveyed experts across the country to find out what appliances and accessories homeowners really want and how these must-have tools are affecting the look, feel and layout of today's modern, tech-forward kitchens.

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